Recipe A Day #7: Crisp Tofu with White Beans and Gremolata

Today's recipe is an adaptation of yet another laughably simple and easy recipe from Jules Clancy's brilliant cookbook Five Ingredients Ten Minutes. And while it may be a humble little recipe, it's healthy and literally jam-packed with protein. Best of all, with a little bit of practice you can get this meal for 2-3 on the table in--yep, you guessed it--just about 10 minutes.

Crisp Tofu with White Beans and Gremolata

2 Tablespoons olive oil
14-16 ounces of firm or extra-firm tofu, sliced into 4-5 one-inch thick slices and patted dry
Dash of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
1 15-ounce can white beans or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and black pepper to taste

Large handful fresh parsley
1 garlic clove, finely minced
About 2-3 teaspoons fresh lemon zest (the zest of about 1 small lemon)

1) Chop parsley finely, add minced garlic and lemon zest, combine well and set aside.

2) Season tofu slices with cayenne or red pepper flakes, and then fry in oil in a large skillet until crispy and golden. Remove and set tofu onto plates, and season with a little salt and/or black pepper to taste.

3) Add beans and about half of the gremolata to the pan and combine and saute for 1-2 minutes, just until warm. Place warmed beans/gremolata on top of tofu and then sprinkle the remaining gremolata over that. Serve immediately.

Serves 2-3.

Recipe Notes:
1) On Tofu: As celebrated as it may be by earnest vegans and vegetarians, everybody knows tofu is tasteless. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your perspective. Channeling my inner Michael Pollan, I prefer to think of tofu as a tabula rasa, a blank canvas if you will, upon which you may splatter flavors and seasonings of your choice, like Tabasco sauce, or perchance, applewood smoked sea salt.

2) Seriously, though, there are quite a few variations you can make out of this very simple dish: try different types of beans, season the tofu with whatever seasons come to mind, substitute wilted spinach or kale for the parsley, use a seared chicken breast in place of the tofu, and so on. Enjoy!

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